The Lutherans call these Fastnachts and are supposed to eat them on Shrove Tuesday; the Mennonites call them Raised Doughnuts and will eat them any time. They're wonderful, warm or cold, with maple syrup, or sprinkled with sugar.
Dissolve the yeast in the 1/2 cup warm water with 1 tsp of sugar.
Mix potatoes, sugar, potato water and flour; add yeast dissolved in water.
Let rise in a warm place for several hours.
Then add 1 cup sugar, 1 cup lukewarm water or milk, 3/4 cup melted butter, 3 eggs, salt and about 5 cups flour for stiff dough.
Turn onto a well floured board and knead for about 3 to 5 minutes.
Add a small amount of extra flour if necessary so the dough can be handled without sticking to your fingers.
Grease a large bowl.
Place the dough in the greased bowl.
Cover with a thin towel, and let rise in a warm, draft free place for about 2 hours or until it is at least double in size.
Now, according to all my instruction, youre supposed to let the dough rise again for another hour or two, but that means youd be fussing with these things all day; figure it out; this would be its third rising, with another to come; I think at this point Id be reckless and divide the dough in thirds and start rolling it out.
What matters if you do have a few large holes in your fastnachts?
Take your choice, rise or roll.
Id try rolling the dough to about 3/4 inch thickness.
Fastnachts have a traditional diamond shape; cut them into diamonds with a knife.
Another essential is to cut a slit across the top of each fastnacht with a sharp knife.
Let the fastnachts rise, covered, in a warm place, till theyre springy to the touch; when theyre quite fat and puffy, drop them with the raised side down into fat that is hot enough to brown a bread cube375 degrees.
Fry on both sides.
If you dont want that many fried cakes you might try baking some in a hot oven as rolls.